VMware vCenter Orchestrator is an IT Process Automation engine that helps automate your cloud and integrate the VMware vCloud Suite with the rest of your management systems. Orchestration saves time, removes manual errors, reduces operating expenses, and simplifies IT management. VMware vCenter Orchestrator allows administrators and architects to develop complex automation tasks within the workflow designer, then quickly access and launch workflows directly from within the vSphere Client or via various triggering mechanisms.
- Provides a user-friendly designer to customize workflows based on your business processes and needs.
- Launch complex workflows directly from the vSphere Web client.
- Install with a production ready virtual appliance or directly on Windows server.
- Includes vast libraries of pre-defined workflows and many additional VMware and 3rd party plug-ins that can be downloaded from the VMware Solutions Exchange.
Features for Automated Cloud Management & IT Service Delivery
The following details the features of VMware vCenter Orchestrator.
- Cloud-ready. vCenter Orchestrator provides 100% coverage of the vSphere and vCloud Director APIs, and is integrated with other VMware solutions such as vCloud Director, vCenter Update Manager, vCenter Chargeback Manager, and vCenter Configuration Manager. This type of coverage means administrators or developers can automate virtually any task in their cloud and virtual infrastructure.
- vCenter Orchestrator virtual appliance significantly reduces the time and skills required to deploy vCenter Orchestrator and provides a low-cost alternative to the traditional Windows-based installation. Distributed as an OVF (Open Virtual Machine Format), it is pre-built and pre-configured with all of the components included in the regular Windows-based installation, along with the flexibility to use either the pre-built directory services and database, or to use external ones like Active Directory or Oracle.
- Workflow engine. Achieve step-by-step process automation using workflows created from custom building blocks initiated by the user or by utilizing the plug-ins from Orchestrator or the Solutions Exchange.
- Workflow designer. Enables users to drag workflow elements and align them together to produce simple or complex workflows. Available on Windows, Linux, and Mac, the redesigned interface allows you to build complex automation routines with just a few clicks.
- Built-in workflow library. Designed for system administrators, the Orchestrator library of workflows contains tasks that solve specific daily challenges and performs actions common to the administrator. For example, an administrator could leverage the snapshot workflow to take a snapshot across a large number of virtual machines using a particular resource pool. Other out of the box workflows enable administrators to have better visibility into resource utilization. A simple startup and notify workflow will notify the administrator by e-mail when a virtual machine is powered on. Building blocks create new or advanced workflows providing access to administrators or developers. They can link actions together to produce specific workflows relevant to their business needs.
- Versioning. All vCenter Orchestrator workflows have an associated version history, packaging and roll-back capabilities, which allows basic change management when distributing processes to different project stages and locations.
- Check-pointing. Especially useful for long-running processes, each step in the workflow is saved in a content database, which allows for server restarts without losing state and context. Integration with production grade external databases to store relevant information, such as processes, workflow states, and configuration information to support check-pointing.
- Policy engine. The built in policy engine allows monitoring external events to launch appropriate workflows in response to infrastructures failures or state changes.
Security. Orchestrator provides the following advanced security functions:
- Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to sign and encrypt content imported and exported between servers
- Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control how exported content might be viewed, edited and redistributed
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypted communications between the desktop client and the server and HTTPS access to the Web front end, and
- Advanced access rights management to provide control over access to processes and the objects manipulated by these processes
- Central Management. vCenter Orchestrator provides a central way to manage your processes and ensure that admins used version controlled scripts. It contains the scripts and process-related primitives in one place to avoid releasing scripts without versioning and proper change control across the environment.
- Robust performance and scalability to execute hundreds or thousands of concurrent workflows on single or distributed architectures.
- REST API. vCenter Orchestrator provides REST API to enable other applications to execute workflows.